Well, fellow fen, another year has come and gone. And another issue makes its appearance.

This time I can't complain about being overworked since computers did a big chunk of the work, for which I'm very grateful. And of course, having a very efficient typist who uses compatible diskettes is very helpful.

My thanks go to everyone who helped in any way, from the zine staff, to the contributors, and especially to you, dear readers, without whom this would be a useless undertaking.

You may have noticed that we have a small page count. That's due to the marvels of modern day printers. At this writing, I'm not sure what we'll end up with, but we have over 75 pages at normal sized text. This type of computer magic enables me to give you more for your money. (and avoid overfeeding the US Snail at the same time.)

However, friends, the zine file is now almost completely empty. We desperately need material for the next issue, if HCI is to remain in print. Questions are the most important. But I can also use articles, artwork, poetry, letters of comment and anything else you think might be useful in an info zine. And remember, this isn't just for S/G. Any of JL's universes are fair game. So, please help me.

A final word. Since I'm basically lazy and hate summer, I'm going to skip a calendar year, so that I can change my publication schedule to allow me to work on the zine in the winter time. Next issue will be out (If you guys feed it!) February of 1990. That's only 17 months, so I hope it doesn't send anyone into attrition.

                            Unto Zeor and Chanel Forever
                            Marge Robbins


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GEN-erally * Speaking

I'm absolutely thrilled that the majority of the work for this issue of HOUSEHOLDING CHANEL INQUIRER was through the skills of Marge and her staff. I only answered a few technical questions here and there.

I have no doubt that by the time you hold another issue of HCI in your hands, there will not be any "Editorial" from me. ((MR: That's what she thinks!)) I'm looking forward to giving any assistance I'm asked from the sidelines, as Marge doesn't need any help from me. I think so much of her the she's now on the staff of COMPANION IN ZEOR.

May you enjoy this issue as much as I have.

Karen MacLeod


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The Digen Farris awards are presented annually to those fans, who in the opinion of the editorial staff and/or JL have rendered exemplary service to the Ancient Tecton.

To nominate someone for this award, just write to Marge Robbins, editor and tell us who you think should get the award and why. We do consult JL, but decisions of the editorial staff are final.

1988 winners BRUCE LITMAN for faithfully supporting COMPANION IN ZEOR for ten long years.

KIER NEUSTAEDTER for designing and producing beautiful flier and working her computer magic for AMBROV ZEOR.

KATIE FILIPOWICZ for writing an especially insightful article (A FARRIS CHANNEL AT THE 1988 WINTER OLYMPICS) that explores the meaning of Zeor's excellence.

MARGE ROBBINS for helping Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer move herself and AMBROV ZEOR from Cape Cod Mass to Morehead City, NC.


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Marge Robbins: Is there any way a renSime can kill a TN3 in transfer?

JL: Yes, but it would be a rare and complicated situation of transfer mechanics for you to set up inside a short story about something else. It's sufficient if the Gen is GN1 and experienced.

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: When a Sime reaches disjunction crisis, it is necessary that the individual be given an actual choice between transfer with a Gen or channel in order that the person might consciously choose the channel? If it is, am I right to assume that the Gen used as "bait" so to speak, would be a Donor, and not someone who is in real danger of being killed if something goes wrong? The few published instances of disjunction have been situations involving an ordinary Gen, but these are mostly unplanned, emergency situations. I don't see how it would be acceptable to knowingly and routinely set up a choice situation involving risk to the Gen, although they could have in Frevven's time, when there were still semi-junct renSimes and a certain number of pen-raised Gens destined to be killed anyway. ((JL:right))

JL: It ought to work with a Donor. Sometimes, though, it wouldn't and a real kill would have to be set up, as a last resort. The important element is the personal conscious choice of the Sime which seals all the subconscious changes that have taken place over months.

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: What happens if a disjunct Sime kills someone in transfer? Can they disjunct again, or do you only get one chance? Any difference if it's a renSime or a channel? (JL: Of course)

JL: I don't think you can make a sweeping generalization here. A second disjunction would probably be much more difficult. Not many Simes would survive to try again. However, failure during disjunction is common. Failure after disjunction is so uncommon that there are no statistics. Basically if I'd been through that I'd rather die than kill again. So failure after disjunction is uncommon. However, in Muryin's time, it would be at a peak, enough to teach people that the limits of a disjunct are a lot lower than the limits of a non-junct. The younger the failed disjunct, the better his chance of surviving a second disjunction. An awful lot would suicide during the second try. In Muryin's time though, people might not be so strongly committed to the ideal. Failed disjuncts might band together and form Neo-Raider bands, insisting on their right to the kill. It's a touchy political situation. And don't forget that disjunction and re-junction can only occur during First Year. But also remember that Tigues are "First Year" for 21 transfers usually.

Michelle Barney: Why does a channel need Gen transfer? Is there something else than, or something about, Gen transfer that channels need that renSimes don't? What?

JL: Direct Gen transfer has an effect on the vriamic node and the control it exercises over the connection between Primary and Secondary systems.

Jean: The reality is that channels cannot function without it. A channel can be stunted like Skip Ozik, but then he can't work as a channel. But renSimes are healthier and lead the fullest lives on Gen transfer. (Not kills.)

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: Then how can a disjunct channel be trained to function? If s/he has spent most of the first year deprived of Gen transfer why isn't s/he hopelessly stunted? Or was something more done to Skip, which would not have been done had he been expected to later be trained? A channel could survive for a time on channel's transfer if necessary, right? (JL: right!)

JL: "Function" is relative. Don't compare function levels across decades and centuries. There comes a time when basic skills are not sufficient for licensing. Frevven's skills were just barely up to snuff for his day and age. In Digen's time, Frevven could not pass the tests for in or out-T license because of this "stunting" effect as well as because he's too easily tempted. (Editor's note: Who cares. Frevven is still everybody's favorite channel.)

MR: What's the difference between a Distect Transfer and a Tecton transfer? OK, the last can vary. I guess. So, say Tecton standard in Digen's time.

JL: Study UNTO ZEOR FOREVER: I can't do it in one sentence. The difference is in the philosophy- the concept of what transfer is and what it does. The effect is on the channel's vriamic node control. (For a renSime, it's different) The Sime is not expected or required to prevent a kill, and so they lose the ability to do so. (In Distect transfer)

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: What happens if a channel's First Transfer is from another channel, rather than a Gen?

JL The First Transfer sets the "mark" that the Sime tries to reproduce in all succeeding transfers. A channel's personal transfer has to provide to the Simes served that month a replica of the satisfaction achieved at the previous transfer. A channel who doesn't take First Transfer from a Gen subsequently doesn't achieve satisfaction from Gen transfer. But catch-22, the channel can not get satisfaction from another channel, though a channel of a higher order can serve a lesser channel and get the lesser channel through the month sort of-of ok. Thus the channel who takes channel's transfer at First Transfer lives a life of utter futile frustration seeking "sort-of ok" instead of glory, then being yucky instead of happy.


Marge Robbins: ((Sosectu's note When I asked this question I was contemplating having a character of mine seduce Klyd just for fun. The idea never got into a story though -not yet anyway)) Did lady Companions of that time period bed hop in the interests of keeping channels healthy and happy?

JL: Yes, of course. Zeor doesn't marry out of Zeor, but it sows wild oats galore and happily pays child support. With the end of ZD, the householding value that is the channel's moral obligation to begat everywhere now becomes the central value of the entire Nivet territory. It's different for female channels. They die easily! And males carry death in their loins, so it is a very complicated thing. They didn't have 100% effective birth control.

Marge Robbins: Can one channel protect another from hostile Gen nagers? (JL: yes) What would it depend on?

JL: The protector would have to have enough selyn to generate a showfield strong enough to wash out the Gen's field.

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: What are some of the symptoms of entran? You've said it's painful and sometimes fatal, but how?

JL: See HoZ--Klyd has attack of it in Imil. At the onset, its primary symptom is painful muscle spasms around the vriamic node - midchest, solar plexus and abdomen. This is accompanied by an unsteady sick feeling that comes from the vriamic - which is the control node and contact between primary and secondary systems. Since the secondary system exists throughout the whole body. the lack of use of that system will affect the whole body. Consider the pain of cut-off circulation followed by numbness. In the case of a channel's system, that numbness precedes death by only minutes. Only Farrises have been known to die of entran-- others die in old age of attendant complications. Complications run the full gamut of selyn system disorders. If you can imagine it, it can happen when a channel who is carrying a heavy secondary load loses control of his/her vriamic node. Primary and secondary systems can mix - send selyn back and forth spasmodically doing CRAZY things to the fields around the victim. Makes it VERY hard for another Sime to help and scares Gens. Emptying the secondary doesn't help. In spasm, the vriamic would allow the primary to dump selyn into the secondary (which in a Farris is always much bigger than the Primary) causing death. The solution to the problem is to work selyn in and out of both systems through the laterals -- that generally stops the spasms. Headache of a peculiar intense variety accompanies all this and other symptoms vary from individual to individual just as say, menstrual, symptoms do. More so because of all the various submutations. The whole business is a pure misery.


Marge Robbins: Why did God allow the Sime/Gen mutation to arise in the first place?

JL: What do you mean allow? It was planned that way and is a blessing.

Marge Robbins: What was it supposed to accomplish?

JL: The actualization of human compassion and ultimately total sanity.

JL: ((Sosectu's note. This is a comment JL made in the course of counseling me on story construction)) A story comes out "contrived" when the internal story logic and the characters' motivations don't add up to what actually happens. This flaw is produced by the author's burning desire to include a particular scene or event. The need to write that scene into the story is so "bright" that it blinds the author to what the situation looks like from the character's pov and so alternative solutions that are obvious to the reader are ignored by the characters. The only defense the author has when called down for sloppy work is that the character just didn't think of it. The truth is that the author didn't think. Period! This has always been a chronic problem with me, so it's a trap I'm sensitive to. As a result, it almost always happens that the inspiring scene, situation or dialogue that starts me writing a story almost never survives into the first draft. At least not intact.

KLS: Is there a proper way to combine "ambrov (whatever)" with a person's last name?

JL: Mary Smith ambrov Zeor. Smith then becomes a middle or given name.

MR: Farrises are the exception to this rule. They retain their last name if of the Farris mutation. Others not born with the Farris name adopt it if identified as Farris.

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: How strictly vegetarian are Simes? Do they eat eggs and dairy products?

JL: They will feed eggs and milk to their children, but generally don't digest animal protein well and thus don't eat it. The older the Sime, the less tolerance he'd have for animal protein. Or if a Sime has ever stopped eating for weeks or months, he'll lose what little tolerance he has. Somewhere Klairon is a cheese gourmet. He likes the taste but doesn't eat a lot of it.

QUESTION: I have been curious about the Zeor crest. The design is attractive to look at, but I wonder if there is any symbolism behind it.

Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer: There are two levels of answer to this question. First there is the philosophical esoteric level originally discussed in AZ about where we thought it came from. Then there is the "realistic" level alluded to in CD, about where it "actually" came from. JL: Slina, the keeper of the government pen wears a dagger and uses a legal mark shaped like a dagger. That mark goes on Gen tags and ownership papers. Zeor uses that symbol or an adaptation of it, in much the same spirit as Householding Gens' chose to call themselves "wer-Gens" (Naztehr" in Simelan). A discussion of this appears in AZ#5, pg. 56. It was designed by P. S. Nim and is based on the astrological symbol for Neptune. JL: The trident, standing for Idealism, sacrifice, ego-less-ness.

Donell Meadows: What does Sosu mean? Is it the Gen equivalent of Hajene?

MR: Companion or Donor, probably, yes, it's a title of respect like Hajene.

JL: Yes, companion. It has other more intimate connotations. Naztehr can cover both Hajene and Sosu, as well as the RenSime term.

MR: What constitutes a Faith Day ceremony?

JL: Check SIME SURGEON and UNTO ZEOR FOREVER both for customs. It's a cross between Christmas and the 4th of July (but no fireworks). Ceremonies would be mostly inside Householdings. (It's Householder's reunion day by Digen's time, the holiday everyone goes home for). There are also town and company picnics, municipal parades, gala decorations, contests (like school essays to win a scholarship), anything you can think of. Official Tecton festivities would be things like bonus checks for all the Gens, honors and awards ceremonies where the Simes decorate the Gens with "best of" medals, probably a wreath on a tomb ceremony on the battlefield, and t.v. shows about the war like we have holocaust memorials this time of year. Each Householding would have its own sort of spiritual ceremony for prayer and such and then a fun event for kids like a picnic. No two would be exactly alike.


question: Chapter 2 in the shrine. Pg. 21: How could Risa, in hard need, dart back away from a Gen?

Jean: Symptom of Tigue toughness.

QUESTION: If Sergi "sank back on his heels" did he break lip contact? That's unheard of.

Jean: It's sinking away, not pushing away.

QUESTION: How does a Gen, even a Companion, know a Sime has been disoriented (other than that a junct would never have allowed herself to get into such hard need if she'd been "together" enough to prevent it)?

Jean: He has trouble balancing the fields because her selyn systems are in chaos.

QUESTION: Is casual male-female nudity common in-Territory? Risa just strips and walks naked in front of a man who she's just met when they're both post and of whom she was so recently afraid. Even if she doesn't think of him as a man or a person (and this isn't clear as written), nudity is vulnerability, and not displayed to people we fear, I think.

Jean: I strip in front of my dog and cat. To Risa, a Gen is no more. He is certainly not a man to her. Her stripping so casually is meant to clarify that.

JL: Simes zlin- clothing does not provide a barrier to zlinning the way it does to sight. So being unclothed does not increase vulnerability in Sime Society. Not even for Gens raised in-T because they've absorbed the cultural attitude.

QUESTION: Pg. 28 A very long delay for catharsis and tears after transfer. Doesn't this usually follow termination immediately, especially with a Companion to facilitate catharsis?

Jean: Risa is disoriented, which influences the post reaction.

JL: She's also a Tigue and has been through a lot.

QUESTION: Pg. 32: "If you don't zlin me, you won't feel anything if I do cut myself." Aren't Simes involuntary empaths?

Jean: Not when post. Sergi knows Risa is making the effort to zlin because she doesn't trust him.

JL: And Risa's a channel, though she is untrained, Sergi is very competent.

QUESTION: Pg. 78 If a renSime stopped to zlin first, before leaping on a Gen, would he know if the Gen had enough selyn?

Jean: No, even Rimon couldn't tell. A functioning channel would develop the skill.

JL: A Gen who has just been stripped of selyn by a channel would not seem attractive. A RenSime who feels attracted assumes that there is enough selyn to make the effort worthwhile. Only the advent of channels makes this instinct untrustworthy for RenSimes.

QUESTION: Shouldn't Brovan have suffered backlash from incomplete transfer/abrupt termination short of repletion or is that only a channel's problem?

Jean: No, he suffered it and that adds depth to the scene for the S/G fan. But the FOCUS must be where it is.

QUESTION: Pg. 104 Does Risa ever understand that agreeing to be trained as a channel ties her to channeling (and to the Householding way of life) forever? She can't leave. Does anyone know this yet? If they do, isn't Keon dishonest for not telling her so?

Jean: Sergi is the one who doesn't tell her, because he doesn't believe she'd want to leave.

QUESTION: If they don't know this yet, when was this found out? It was known earlier in HOZ, or was HOZ time period later than AK? (Sosectu's note: There is an excellent time line by Katie Filipowicz in the back of RENSIME)

Jean: They are approximately the same time. Risa doesn't intend to stop channeling, by the way; she intends to work outside the Householding. Her plans change as she learns.

QUESTION: Pg. 180- Can a Gen, especially a Companion, react to another Gen's field?

Jean: Remember, Gens can balance fields. Sergi can tell Kreg's effect on the ambient by what he, Sergi, has to do to make the ambient "feel" right.

JL: Only the highly sensitive and well-trained and very talented Gens can do this on a level that makes Simes think they "read fields" - These are the naturals like Hugh and Lowell Talbot. in a booth labeled Donations with three gens in a line, the first one is a male smiling. Channel says: No, you may NOT donate again!!!


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(Editor's note: this is a short apocryphal scene JL scribbled on a letter of mine in response to questions about drama in the S/G universe. I've included it here because I think Digen fans might enjoy it)

This takes place during Digen's student exchange days. Just after some local crises (he's about 15 natal years at the time) when he's had to take over as Controller and clean up after a tornado or earthquake or something, he's sitting at the breakfast table watching tv with his foster family.

There's an ad on the TV for a show like "General Hospital" only set in a Sime Center. Some of the actors playing Simes are QN-3's (they have lots of spare time) and some are renSimes playing channels.

There is a "code blue" emergency and they play a resuscitation scene as part of the promo for the series.

One of the family kids turns to Digen and asks, "Is that the way it really is?"

Digen answers. "I wouldn't know."

They all stare at him confused.

He elaborates, "the only time I have ever been in such a situation. I've been too busy to see anything."

The problem is that TV can't show nageric fields! So the scene is bizarre and strange to his eyes. His private evaluation is that the actors look like kids playing at medical emergency.

Gens at a stageplay put on for Simes miss an awfully lot and usually come away bored and confused. The Householdings pioneered theatre for mixed audiences and its still (in Digen's time) a young and clumsy art.






To understand how Simes use selyn, it is first necessary to understand how they couldn't use it. A cell -- plant, animal, fungal, or bacterial -- is basically a selectively permeable bag, or membrane, in which a bewilderingly complex series of chemical reactions are carried out by catalyst proteins called enzymes. The energy to carry out these reactions comes from the high-energy phosphate bonds of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. When the third phosphate is broke off. ADP, or adenosine diphosphate, and inorganic phosphate (P) are formed, and 7300 calories of energy per mole of ATP is released. (A mole is Avagadro's number--6.03x10^23 of molecules.) A calorie is the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of one mililiter of water one degree Celsius)

This energy can be used by enzymes to drive otherwise unfavorable reactions, or the energy can be lost as heat. (This is one of the ways mammals, birds, and skunk cabbages maintain a body temperature above the ambient.)

ATP has been used in this manner by every living organism since life first evolved (JL: on earth), and I can see no way that Simes could avoid using it to drive their metabolism. Selyn may be "life-energy" (JL: see my article WHAT IS SELYN. Chakra, prana, kundalini. Theoretically a sufficiently skilled adept (ie a saint) can "live on air" or "prana".), but chemical reactions run on chemical energy. An enzyme could no more use selyn directly than it could use electricity, light, or food. Four and a half billion years of organic and inorganic evolution have given living organisms a very efficient system. Even if a set of selyn-using enzymes were somehow to evolve, the chaos as the change was made would prove instantly fatal. (Consider for a moment that the more deadly herbicides and insecticides usually disable only one metabolic pathway.) No Sime could grow tentacles at changeover if the machinery to make proteins, lipids, DNA, and other "cell stuff" was not working smoothly.

The solution to the apparent dilemma comes from HOZ. Klyd tells Hugh "The Sime body operates on selyn, not calories." From this context. It is obvious that Klyd is using the term in its nonscientific sense, to mean energy derived from food.

We Ancients, and presumably Gens also, do not get energy directly from the foods we eat. Instead, we break them down into sugars, which are degraded by twelve to fourteen enzymes (depending on the sugar). In the course of these reactions; electrons are trapped by two molecules called FAD and NAD. These compounds are transported into the mitochondria (a double-membrane "bag" within the main one) where they pass the electrons to a series of membrane-bound proteins. The electrons, much reduced in energy, are eventually used to split molecular oxygen to form water. The electron transport proteins use the energy the electrons lose to pump hydrogen ions out of the inner bag. This quickly builds a pH gradient, which is a form of potential energy. The imbalance is corrected when the hydrogens leak back into the bag through the stem of a mushroom-shaped enzyme called an ATPhase. For each three hydrogens (approximately), that leak back, one P is put back in an ADP to regenerate ATP. At this point, the cell has turned the energy in food into a form that it can use, and everyone is happy but the poor biochemistry students who have to memorize the whole thing. (This is, of course, a gross oversimplification of the process. For further information, consult any basic biochemistry textbook on the subjects of gycooysis, the Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorilation, and the Mitchell chemiosmotic hypothesis. But only if you're feeling masochistic.)

Where does selyn come into this, JL has confirmed on many occasions that selyn is not any of the presently known forms of energy (chemical, magnetic, nuclear, etc.) What is necessary, then, is a way to change selyn energy to a form that a Sime's cellular enzymes can use-- chemical energy in the form of ATP. There is a well-known biological system that does just such an interconversion: photosynthesis, which converts light energy of certain wavelengths into ATP. Plants do this --you guessed it-- by using the light + energy to make a PH gradient, with which an ATPhase manufactures ATP. And I won't go into that story, thank you very much.

It is not beyond the boundaries of science fiction to propose an enzyme capable of converting energy in the form of selyn into electrons. These could then be passed to the electron transport chain and form a pH gradient, which the preexisting ATP could use, by cutting out all the intermediate stages, the Sime could manufacture ATP at a faster, more efficient rate, leading to a faster reaction time and abnormal (to us Ancients) strength and stamina. Because the electron transport chain is still splitting oxygen to make water, the Sime would still have to breathe, something that would not be necessary if Sime enzymes used selyn directly.

Channels use more selyn than renSimes, even if they have no training and never have their secondary systems activated. This is likely due to a less strong "coupling", ie: there is a leak somewhere along the line. Either some of the electrons are being diverted, or more likely, hydrogens are leaking across the membrane without going though the ATPhase. This means more selyn that normal would be necessary to run the channel's metabolism. (The same thing happens to us Ancients. This is one reason why some people get fat on very little food, while others can eat

all they want and not gain an ounce. Total uncoupling, of course, is fatal-- some poisons work that way.)

A curious thing about ATPhase is that the reaction can be reversed. That is, if the pH gradient is reversed, hydrogens will flow out of the inner compartment through the stem and ATP will be split instead of made. (This is how ATPhases are actually studied in the laboratory.) A large excess of ATP will also pump hydrogens, even against a gradient. If the Sime's selyn-splitting enzyme (selynase?) is similarly reversible, selyn production in Gens might take the following course:

Gens, especially Gens who donate or give transfer regularly. and therefore make lots of selyn, eat significantly more than children. Some of that extra food would be necessary to make ATP for an adult's larger body, but the rest must be used to make selyn. "Conservation of energy--you can't create or destroy it. only change its form." Breaking down that extra food -- more than is necessary to make ATP -- would create a backlog of electrons in the electron transport chain. (After all, there are only so many electron acceptors, so many hydrogens could be used to pump, etc.) At this point, the extra electrons could be used by the selynase (in reverse) to manufacture selyn. Since too much selyn production is prevented by "governors" (a hormone system that activates/deactives the selynase?), donation or transfer would allow more selyn to be produced, more selyn production means less backlog and a healthier Gen.

The energy siphoned off into selyn production instead of metabolism would not do the Gen's cells any harm as long as there was a regulatory mechanism that slowed selyn production when food was very scarce. This appears to be the case, as the half-starved Pen raised-Gens do not produce as much selyn as well-fed Gens, not even those from out-Territory who have never had their selyn production stimulated by donating.

If selyn production and selyn consumption use the same enzyme (probably encoded by the same gene), and this gene is not expressed to any large degree in children, it must be "turned on" at establishment or changeover. (Actually, this is an oversimplification. Children must produce selyn at a low level, otherwise they would have no more nager than a corpse. However, selyn is only produced fast enough to replace that lost to diffusion.) (JL: and use. All living things USE selyn - but only in the days after RENSIME do they have the technology to measure that objectively) At changeover; a large amount of selynase would be made, and the process of food breakdown would drop drastically. This would lead to a shortage of electrons for the electron transport chain and a drop in the amount of the ATP in the cell. The selynase (probably controlled by the level of ATP -- a lot of enzymes are) would then make up the lack by converting selyn to electrons, making ATP. At establishment, food breakdown would increase dramatically, lots of excess ATP would be made, and selyn production would start.

The selynase would also have to be present in large quantities during fetal development to account for the prenatal selyn draw that has had S/G fen up in arms since Yenava died in HOZ. It is very unlikely that the selyn consumed by the fetus is used to run metabolism, as in an adult Sime, or Laneff would not have to eat more when she was pregnant.

Why then should fetuses consume selyn at all? I can think of two possibilities. The first is that the presence of an adult level of selyn is harmful to the fetus. The selynase would then serve the useful purpose of getting rid of the selyn that would constantly be leaking across the placenta, leaving the developing embryo in a low-field environment. (The extra energy would be lost as heat.) This selyn consumption would be minimal in most cases, but any fetus carrying the channel's gene for higher selynase production would consume large amounts of selyn. Thus, Gens with channel genes, like Sergi, would also cause a noticeable channel-like prenatal selyn drain.

The other possibility is that the fetal selyn drain is an accidental byproduct of its environment. Exposure to maternal hormones can lead to milk production (a few drops only) in newborn infants: (JL: newborn girls often exhibit uterine bleeding too.) It is quite possible that an "adult" hormone environment could activate selyn consumption. This could not be prevented without getting rid of the selynase gene -- and this would be evolutionary suicide, as the child would die at establishment/changeover. (Food breakdown, under the control of separate genes, would still rise or fall dramatically as at establishment or changeover. Without the selynase to provide or remove ATP, the adolescent would be unable to cope with the change. Talk about birth defects!)


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(Editor's note: This is a very short excerpt from a talk given by Jacqueline Lichtenberg at Earthcon/Simecon II in Cleveland, Ohio in November 1982. This follows a discussion on Kerduvon and is in response to the question. "In your opinion, what is disjunction?")

It's a central nervous system condition, a condition which exists in the chakras. Do you know what that is? There's an Indian Yoga philosophy which basically says that there's a spiritual energy which circulates within the human body, mostly centering in the spinal cord. That energy enters and leaves the body through points at which the spiritual body is connected to the physical body. Those connecting points along the spine are called chakras, which simply means circles. They look like vortices to a psychic. (read The Chakras by leadbetter, Theosophic publishing Company)

At this point, I cannot discuss what selyn is. I have a notion. I keep up with modern physics, and I have heard theories about the energy that holds the universe together, that physics is actually dealing with now on a theoretical level, not in the experimental laboratory but far out on the forefront of theoretical physics, right now they're beginning to toy with ideas which look to me like a juncture point between selyn and kundalini. Do you know what kundalini is? Again we're back to this Indian theory. The yoga theory of this circulation of energy, the energy which circulates though the body is called kundalini. I have never seen an explanation of the relationship between prana and kundalini, but I suspect that prana is the energy of the life force that is taken in through the and that the body somehow transforms it into kundalini. That's my theory.

Kundalini is usually visualized as a green light -- sometimes it's so green and so bright that it seems white -- that originates at the tip of the spine and flows out through the top of the head, after having circulated in a very complicated pattern through the middle of the body. Its circulation is what causes this aura that's photographed in Kirlian photography. If you know anything about physics, you know that electric fields and magnetic fields propagate at right angles to each other. My theory is that selyn and prana are related in the same way, that they propagate at right angles to each other. They aren't the same thing, any more than electric fields and magnetic fields are the same thing. But they are related and they are created by the same thing. Moving prana is kundalini, and it creates a kundalini field which is aura. A moving "kundalini-on", as in electron, proton, neuron -- creates this aura around the body. A moving "selyn-on" creates a selyn field. But they're really the same "on" --it's the same particle, wave, whatever, this same energy packet.

Somewhere on the very, very forefront of theoretical physics, they're beginning to perceive a joining where matter and energy come together and are the same. At that point, that's where you get the theoretical equations that describe the relationship between kundalini, life force, and selyn, life force. They are the same, yet they're not the same. They don't exist in the physical body and yet the physical body generates physiological structures which are analogous to them. That is what I was trying to say, that kundalini circulates through the body among the chakras in certain patterns, in what Marion Zimmer Bradley calls the channels of a keeper. There are diagrams of this. You can find them in books. The physical body has physiological structures in the same places as these chakras. There are nerves that are in the same place that the psychic sees these other structures. And yet these other structures belong, not to the physical body, but to the body that is part of the physical universe, but one step up from it in the etheric body. Now, selyn circulates in the "etheric body". It doesn't belong to nerve cells, yet it appears to, it is perceived as doing so. But that's not really where it is. It's just that the nerve cell is the physical analog of the structure in which the selyn is.

Oh, yeah, kerduvon. I was asked what is the physiological analog of being junct? Why is this physiological dependence? Well, that physiological

dependence exists in the etheric body, not in the physical body. If you want to change the shape of your etheric body, you're perfectly capable of doing that. Sure, it's a snap. Go ahead.

What do you have to be to be able to do that?

You have to be a Marion Zimmer Bradley. You have to be a Priestess of the Goddess. You have to be a Yogic master. And that's what you have to be to be a Halimer Grant. That's what you have to be to be one of those Donors that every channel is attracted to. But if you are that, you will behave in such a modest and discreet fashion that the channels you are not trying to attract will not feel that sort of attraction. That's the plot device I used in RENSIME where Shanlun is so busy saving Digen's life that he accidentally attracts a renSime. He is this type of person. Of course, that then creates a karmic bond. He's responsible for what he did.

What does Kerduvon do? Kerduvon allows the physical body to survive the stresses in the etheric body attendant upon the mental changes that must occur to disjunct. Physical dependence on the kill is basically the pattern of circulation: the entry point, exit points, dissipation rates, the speed necessary to perceive satisfaction, to perceive oneself as real. All these different factors are necessary in order to achieve this sensation, which is a result of all these things. That occurs as much in the etheric body as it does in the physical body. Change the etheric body and the physical body will follow, and vice versa. Change it too much, too fast, and you'll die. The theory of the chakras is that chakras are the points at which the spirit contacts the physical body, and that when you die, they come apart. A angst is an etheric body walking around without a physical body. An etheric body is part of the physical world.

That's the theory. You see, that's using real world occult sciences to generate a fantasy universe. I use the occult sciences in the same way hard science fiction writers use physics, math, and chemistry, but I'm also trained in physics, math, and chemistry, so when I do all of this synthesis, it works. It's sort of a bastard child, because it belongs in both worlds, science and magic.


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And you thought we were all Ancients here . . .

Well, we are--but through his performance at the Olympics, a figure skater named Brian Boitano made clear to me the essence of both Zeor and Farris channels.

The Simelan word "zeor" means "excellence." The ambrov Zeor are not, as is sometimes thought, compulsive perfectionists: rather, each strives constantly to maximize his God-given talents and use them to the fullest. Boitano accomplished this Zeor goal over the three days of the men's figure skating event: he brought his skills to "perfection" (skating the best he was capable of), at the perfect moment and place, combining his habitual technical brilliance with a newly developed magical rapport with the audience. He presented this perfected gift to the world, quietly thanked God, then overflowed with joy. The fact that another man's "perfection" might have been ultimately "better" according to the rules of figure skating, and thus might have beaten him in the competition, was irrelevant.

Just what is it that makes Brian Boitano so special? The same characteristics that distinguish Farris channels: steadfast centering, masterful control down to the finest tolerances, speed, and phenomenal luck.

A channel's life is bound into the immutable physical laws of selyn mechanics. He controls his preparation, but once he commits to a functional, he must cast himself vulnerable and trusting into the control of these laws he cannot alter. The more he has been aware of his own self/body and has been able to put himself into perfect harmony with these laws, the more smoothly he will be carried along by nature.

Figure skating is an art in which the participant also flings himself into the power of physical laws. In many moves, forces are too great and things happen too fast for him to make choices and corrections. What happens during a jump is determined by the skater's position at the transitional instant when he enters the jump. If he is in unity with nature, he flies.

Farris channels have the deepest awareness of their own systems and of impinging forces. Boitano, of all the male skaters, seems to possess the most intimate knowledge of his own center of gravity and balance. This helps make him a master of his edges. (Figure skate blades have two long edges with a groove running down the middle. Most skating is done on one edge at a time, with the body leaning at an angle to the ice.) Because Boitano can hold himself with ease at acute angles, he gains tremendous vertical power when he straightens into jumps and hence needs less prolonged arm and leg preparation than the other skaters. He appears to use the most efficient means to achieve superior results. And, because he joins his body so closely to nature at his takeoffs, he can do things in the midst of difficult jumps that no one else can-- such as holding his arms away from his body, which creates a marvellous visual effect but cuts rotation speed.

Concurrent with a Farris' knowledge of his center is his ability to control himself to the finest dynamic tolerances, right up to the hair's breadth tolerances dividing lines beyond which lies disaster. Zeor Farrises are famous for functionals with narrow success/failure margins that require absolute precision in control of their own systems. Boitano performs a breathtaking move called a spread eagle, in which he glides in a tight circle on two feet (outside edges), his straight-held body canted over backward at an incredible angle, the like of which I have never seen elsewhere. Any more lean, and his skate boots would hit the ice, spilling him dreadfully. Any less, and the effect (a magnificent body line, drawing gasps from the audience) would be lost.

Like Farrises, Boitano isn't "flashy"--his brilliance lies in excellence of technique and control, not in jazzy bells and whistles. His work exudes ease, stability and security--just the feeling one would want from a channel. Performing his spread eagle, he seems to say, "Feel this with me. It feels wonderful. See how much fun we're having together?"

Among the prime Farris characteristics are speed and quickness -- speed to beat the clamping down of potentially fatal Gen reflexes, quickness to make instantaneous adjustments. Boitano relies a great deal on both as well. He builds up tremendous speed in his approach skating, then instantly switches direction into jumps with powerful quick moves of the feet and arms. (Others hold positions for longer periods to center and build up momentum.) Of course, using power in this way requires all the more delicate control, since mistakes are less easily correctible.

And then there's the famous Farris luck. Think of Digen, attempting the nearly impossible task of restoring Imran's selyn production after he nearly dies of shaking plague, botching the pattern and winding up with Im off-true -- but turned into a matchmate who is thus able to save Digen's life after Ilyana's death. In his long program, Boitano made one move that involved incredible control, or incredible luck -- or actually, both. On a difficult jump called a triple Axel (a soaring crowd-pleaser), he landed with a snap in a magnificent braced, arched-body position, one skate sending up a dramatic shower of ice in exact time with a flourish of the music as he swung his leg around behind him. What the experts saw was a two-foot landing, a minor flaw in the jump, which like all skating jumps is to be landed on one foot, the free leg unwinding itself early from the pulled-in rotational position and swinging up and behind before the skate can touch the ice. But the crowd exploded; they saw a thrilling dramatic move that fit the mood of the performance perfectly.

One reporter later wrote that Boitano claimed he had touched down that second skate on purpose, presumably to achieve exactly the effect that resulted. If true, this is the equivalent in danger and sheer audacity of Klyd's deciding to burn Hugh for effect, at the beginning of HoZ. The chance of mistiming and utter disaster, losing control and balance with two feet down instead of one, trying to do something "not done", is incredible. Maybe Boitano did it on purpose; maybe he simply subtly missed something in his takeoff or timing. No matter. With strength, perfect balance, and control, he pulled off a brilliant move at the last moment -- producing an effect that he would not have achieved had the jump been done normally and a pose so spectacular that Sports Illustrated chose to showcase on its cover a photo of his "Farris grandstand stunt." Farris luck.

On the surface, comparisons between living Ancients and people in the Sime/Gen universe can only go so far. When Farris channels go to work, their lives and the lives of their clients depend on their performance. For some, particularly for the Sectuib in Zeor, the fate of humanity may lie in the balance. An Olympic figure skater does not face these life-and-death situations -- just the intense pressure of media, competition, self expectations, the knowledge that the better part of a lifetime has been dedicated to preparing for this one opportunity, which will never come again. Zeor Farrises come through and use these moments for their best work: so did the contemporary Farris, Brian Boitano.

But, below the surface, the comparisons are truly valid. Joy -- in this case, the joy of the accomplishment of excellence, experienced fully between Boitano and his collaborator, God, and shown freely to the world -- kindles life.

Just watching on television pitched me out of a long period of apparent spiritual stagnation and into an energized hope. I saw that I was failing to develop so much of my potential, and I cried but I also realized that it was possible to achieve excellence, possible to go on working no matter how much it might hurt, possible to experience true joy. Then I spent days trying to discover just where I needed to change in my personal and professional fire -- and doing things like writing this article to try to convey my insights to others.

The power of Zeor's excellence gives life and hope to the Sime/Gen world. I believe that Brian Boitano's joy -- and the joy of all others who succeed in some way in being their best selves -- is necessary to enliven our world, here and now. The future of mankind -- individually and collectively -- depends on it.

Thank you, Brian. And thank you, Jacqueline.






















Since my vampire novel, THOSE OF MY BLOOD, was bought by St. Martin's Press for hard and soft cover release. (probably 1988). I've been asked why I, of all people, would write a vampire novel, and the question bewilders me.

Vampire stories have always fascinated and frustrated me because I always felt that they lacked something. Even the good ones such as ASYLUM and Yarbro's St. Germaine novels edge up to the real issue, then retreat without confronting it. Marion Zimmer Bradley taught me that pulling punches like that leaves the readers dissatisfied. Maybe calling my novel a "vampire novel" is a mistake because it won't be like all those very frustrating vampire novels. (It will probably be frustrating in a completely different way.)

Mine is, of course, not a horror novel, though it contains some of the horrible things common to horror novels. We have the lab specimen on the mortuary slab who wakes up starving for blood. We have the female lead character who discovers that she's been sleeping with a "thing" and, worse yet, liking it. We have the isolated group of humans in a dome on the moon left to die in quarantine to prevent "contagion." We have plenty of blood and gore, murder, explosions, intrigue, assassinations, and confusion about which are the "good guys".

But the mere presence of these motifs does not make a horror novel, any more than a space ship captain with a half-human first officer makes STAR TREK. I have discovered that "genre" is defined more by what is absent than by what is present. THOSE OF MY BLOOD also contains SF as well as horror, love as well as sex.

My vampires (they call themselves "luren") are (apparently) nonhumans from outer space whose ancestors crashed on earth. Their food-beasts all perished in the crash and they learned to live on human blood. Problem: they also interbreed with humans.

Half the vampires (the Tourist faction) believe that their species is thus dying out and they must send an SOS home and ask to be rescued. The other half (the Residents faction) think of earth as their home, and believe that, if the rescue comes, there is the real possibility that earth's luren won't be considered legally enfranchised, since none of them are pure-bred anymore. They could also become food beasts.

Another luren spaceship crashes, this time on the moon, and earth sets up a space station around it and prepares to send a message back to its point of origin saying. "Here we are, ready to trade!" The Tourists send a secret agent to the moon base to add an SOS message "under" the humans' message describing Earth's situation. The Residents send an agent to stop the Tourists' message from getting out.

The main character, Titus Shiddehara, is the Residents' agent. Problem: the Tourists' agent is Abbot Nandoha, the vampire who brought Titus to life after he died (a natural part of the luren life-cycle), and who is thus Titus' vampire father, the one with real power over him.

All the myths and legends about vampires that we know of have arisen from the "luren" on Earth, but few vampire traits are exactly as humans have thought them to be. Yet Abbot does have real, compelling power over Titus as well as legal rights under luren law, Titus' options are severely limited from the start of his mission, and though he wins a few points against his father, he loses the one woman he has chosen as a source of nourishment. And Abbot is within his legal rights to have taken her from Titus. All of this is delineated in the first three chapters. Then the real complication comes in.

Titus just arrives in his Lunar laboratory to go to work when he discovers that his chief assistant is Inea Cellura, his ex-fiancee, the woman who saw him die in a car crash, saw him buried, and has grieved for him ever since. He still loves her more than life itself. Right in front of a dozen humans, she recognizes him, and he has to use his powers to prevent her from revealing that he was not always known as Titus Shiddehara. (A really tight computer check would reveal the existence of the luren on Earth, which could trigger a genocidal pogrom against them.)

Meanwhile, the Tourist faction has scored against Titus, depriving him of the powdered cloned blood he lives on. He must also have what the luren call "ectoplasm" directly from a human, but between the smallness of the closed community of the dome and the ethics of the Residents, Titus has a hard time with this simple problems too. Furthermore, Titus has a lot of trouble convincing Inea that he is a vampire risen from the grave rather than a murderer who had somebody else buried in his coffin. When she finally does accept it, and realizes that he's starving and offers to feed him, he then begins to let her in on the more complex nature of his mission.

In bed one morning, he reveals that he is not wholly human and that the "corpse" they have recovered from the wreck is not dead, not quite, not entirely. She can't tolerate this final revelation and turns from him. He leaves, but still has the problem of protecting her from his father, and preventing his father from learning that Inea is his achilles heel. But it isn't long before he finds Inea in a catatonic state from having been mind-raped by his father.

From there on, things begin to get complicated as the pace of the action increases. His father magnanimously uses his luren powers to save Titus from accidentally revealing the existence of luren, the "corpse" awakens, and Titus and his father have to form an alliance to protect the existence of luren on Earth while they are both starving.

The reader learns more about the situation in the galaxy than the humans on earth ever do, but still H'lim's (the wakened corpse) motives remain in this volume, a total mystery. At one point H'lim's whole attitude shifts when he discovers that humans and Earth-luren dream. The reason for this will be revealed in another novel. If I ever sell it, which takes us out into the galactic war, but with a different set of characters.

Inea and the wakened "corpse" (named H'lim) are both independent heroes of their own stories and make decisions that affect Titus' available options. I won't tell you who wins (I keep changing my mind), but there is a final confrontation between Titus and his father, and you won't like his father any better than Titus does.




BY JACQUELINE LICHTENBERG As yet, very few have read THOSE OF MY BLOOD. It is in production at St. Martin's Press and having a very hard time of it. The cover has had to be redone and the copyediting had to be undone and redone. The Editorial Department is superb, but THOSE OF MY BLOOD is taking the short end of the stick everywhere else. However, another novel, DREAMSPY, has already been bought by St. Martin's Press and I have two more novels in mind which I'm going to tell you about now.

But first, I must note that there are Sime/Gen fans who have not discovered that what they like about Sime/Gen is in fact the vampire themes, and so they have concluded that THOSE OF MY BLOOD isn't worth getting excited about. I certainly hope I can convince them that they are wrong because a lot depends on the success of that one book in its hardcover edition.

Most people who have picked up a vampire novel and hated it would automatically shy away from what I've called my vampire love story. They would assume that I have written a horror novel emphasizing psychopathology in an unhealthy relationship as most other vampire novels do. Most scholars assume that the essence of the vampire is a kind of S&M or Dominance game in sexuality. I firmly believe that the success of the vampire novel stems from the horror/evil theme, the hero being helpless before overwhelming destruction, the most he/she can hope for is a draw. I left both of these elements out of my vampire novel because I disagree with both scholars and publishers.

I'm depending on Sime/Gen readership to prove my point. And it doesn't have to cost you money. All you have to do is inquire at your local bookstores about THOSE OF MY BLOOD due out on October 31, 1988 from St. Martin's Press. (Editor's note: that has been moved back to December), 415 pages (at least) and $19.95 cover price. ($22.50 from me) Every time this summer that you do go by the store, stop in and ask if they're going to carry the book, in September or October, put in a reserve on the book at your local library and a suggestion in the suggestion box. If they don't have such a system, then ask to see the librarian in charge or ordering and request the book, (then you get to read it for free.)

If they need more, ask them to check the reviews of my previous books in the New York Times and to check 1987 BOOKS IN PRINT under my name.

If you're a member of a book club, write and ask for THOSE OF MY BLOOD to be done by your club.

The reason I'm asking this of you all is that St. Martin's intends to sacrifice the hardcover of BLOOD as they have all their previous hardcovers in the sf line (which is the line BLOOD is being published by.) They do not intend to sell any copies. They are doing the hc only to get reviews they can print on the cover of the paperback. As a result of this policy, their paperbacks are not getting distributed at all. (Check your chain stores and department store racks and count the number of St. Martin's in sf paperbacks and you'll see what I mean. St. Martin's is doing at least one sf title a month already. Where are the books?)

Check your local chain book stores and note that all the DelRey, Tor, Bantam Spectra, etc. etc. sf is there in hardcover, but the only St. Martin's hc's on the shelves are non-sf. St. Martin's sf is the line THOSE OF MY BLOOD will be distributed by, and therefore the only hope is the army of S/G fans who will be pulling that book through (ahem!) channels. If we can pull through these channels just 200 copies more than the other titles in the line, it will show up visibly on the computers and BLOOD will be a success.

If that does not happen, DREAMSPY will be treated even more poorly, and there will be no hope for sale of the other two novels I have in mind.

What does this have to do with Sime/Gen? As I noted in the latest VANTAGE POINT NEWS, (SASE me for a copy) this hiatus is normal in the life of any series, and in fact I'm somewhat glad it comes now. We are in the process of having the rights to the books reverted so they can be resold as a package to a single publisher and eventually come out as a matched set. This may take ten years, or, if THOSE OF MY BLOOD is a great success, it may take considerably fewer than that - because people who like BLOOD will love S/G and create a demand.

(Meanwhile, S/G fandom is not languishing. If the books revert and become unavailable, then we can publish editions or our own. This isn't STAR TREK we own this stuff.)

But now let me tell you about DREAMSPY. I described THOSE OF MY BLOOD at length in FIRST TRANSFER last year.(Editor's note,) that article has been reprinted in this zine)) If you haven't read the book, I hope you have the description at hand. About halfway through the book, the nonhuman character, H'lim, wakes up and begins to make plot-generating decisions. He is a citizen of the galaxy and understands a lot more than he's at liberty to divulge. (They obey a form of STAR TREK's Prime Directive and take great care in what they tell primitive peoples who can only toddle around their own solar systems.)

However, bizarre as it sounds, everything H'lim does say is true. In fact, he wasn't even boasting of his importance in the galaxy - he was being modest. The most interesting part of the situation "out there" however is the part H'lim did not talk about - and in fact, dared not talk about.

DREAMSPY is the story of that situation as it develops out in the galaxy and resolves that galactic war H'lim tried to avoid mentioning.

THOSE OF MY BLOOD is a spy novel (intrigue, suspense, sex-complicated-by-love, murder-most-foul, etc.) but it is a "cold-war" situation. The only shooting is a couple of pot-shots and skirmishes, and the war is settled by diplomacy not action. The characters stay in one locale and the tension mounts and mounts until it breaks into a single action sequence.

DREAMSPY is set amidst a "hot war" - a real shooting war with strategy, troop movements, planets captured and held P.O.W. camps, and above all, spies. Spies are the key to settling that war, too, but it is a military victory - not diplomacy - that settles it. The characters escape, scramble, run, hide, and run again, all across two galactic empires and end up assaulting the palace of the instigator of the war and putting an end to the war by force - with diplomacy a secondary tool at best.

But, like everything else I write, it's hardly that simple.

The very basics of science, in the Blood universe differ markedly from those in our everyday universe. Of course, they don't know our universe, so they don't know that. They take it quite for granted that astrogation is accomplished by numerology, not mathematics. Genetic engineering on a planetary scale was abandoned thousands of years ago because it produces such fiascos as the planet of Dreamers (Earth) and the planet of the luren. Lur, and the Eight Families of the Teleod, the Dreamspy's "Control."

The issue of the war between the Teleod and the Metaji has to do with the destruction wrought by different methods of using the interstellar space drive. (The drive and astrogation room of the craft that crashed on the moon in BLOOD is described in some detail. The large black area on the floor is the "Pool".)

Both systems use the "Pools." In the Teleod, where Kyllikki is a high ranking member of the Eight Families, the Pool is activated and directed by a pair of operatives who raise sexual energy between them and direct the ship by their desire. Those with real skill are also capable of teleporting just themselves through the Pool, not taking the whole space ship with them, which takes much less energy. In THOSE OF MY BLOOD, H'lim was glad that the operatives had apparently gotten away before his ship crashed on Earth's moon.

In both systems, the ship itself is "folded" through its own navel and "pops" out where the operator of the Pool wants it to be. The Teleod uses force to accomplish this. As a result of the Teleod method, the substrata of the galaxy has become "scratched," - permanent distortions have been gouged into the firmament. Thus, in order for a ship to traverse a well-traveled route using the Teleod method, the Pool team must use ever more forceful methods. The easiest end most effective (i.e. the ship actually arrives where intended) method is to rely more and more on "dark" sexual practices such as pain and subjugation.

Kyllikki, the human woman point-of-view character of DREAMSPY, defected from the Teleod over this issue. Her talent as a telepath made her much in demand as a Pool operative, but when she came to believe that the Teleod method of using the Pools caused the "scratches" that were forcing them to shift toward unhealthy sexual practices, she escaped and ran away from the domination of her sister, Zimor, who is the primary instigator of the war with the Metaji.

The Metaji system of using the Pool differs markedly from the Teleod method. In the Metaji, the astrogator relies solely on numerology as the energy source. He or she discovers the numerological condition of the destination, the numerological condition of the ship, makes the ship's condition match the destination's condition (all of this is very subjective and involves considerable talent at guessing - i.e. at a kind of precognition/clairvoyance rather than telepathy) and takes the ship through to destination.

When the Metaji astrogator has his calculations done, he or she steps through the Pool while holding that resonance in mind (which is quite a bit harder than it sounds) and brings the ship with him or her out the other side of the Pool.

The Metaji system does not leave any mark on the firmament, however, the existing "scratches" cause the Metaji ships to miss their destination quite frequently. The Metaji system is far more vulnerable than the Teleod system to "scratches."

And so, the Metaji, a very non-aggressive society, has gone to war attacking the Teleod, led by an intransigent Zimor who refuses to consider going to the weaker, more unreliable method of astrogation and thus risking losing control of her empire. The Metaji sees no recourse but to take over control of the Teleod and abolish the Teleod's method of using the Pools.

This is the background, which I find endlessly fascinating, but what makes the book is the people caught up in this mess. Thematically, the stories of the people in DREAMSPY are the flip-side of the stories in THOSE OF MY BLOOD.

The theme of THOSE OF MY BLOOD - other than the envelope theme of Sime/Gen, that strength is a vulnerability - is "What group do I belong to?" Titus, who is half-human, half-alien, has to decide if he's human, or luren, Terran or Galactic, and then back his allegiance with his life. His resolution of this problem comes through his love for a human woman easily his equal, a woman who has earned his respect as a person, as a decision-making force. Because Titus is a vampire, and because his internal conflict is resolved through the medium of the human woman he loves, this is a vampire love story with the theme of Identity.

The theme of DREAMSPY - other than the same envelope theme of vulnerabilities within strengths - is "You can't solve your problems by running away from them." Kyllikki can't stand what her sister is doing, believes the Teleod methods are wrong, and defects to the Metaji seeking a peaceful life without real responsibilities, instead of leading a revolt against her sister.

In the Metaji, however, her telepathic ability is leashed back by oath and retraining because the Metaji telepaths likewise use a different system of archetypes and metaphors when communicating telepathically. Because Kyllikki is one of the Dream Bonders, a genetic strain that occurs in the Eight Families, the aristocracy of the Teleod, she can not simply stop using her telepathy. It is a real psychological and physiological need for her to make mental contact with others.

What she really needs, of course, is a full Dream Bonding, a locked telepathic link with a Dreamer (an Earth human.) Earth is the only planet in the galaxy where almost all vertebrates dream. Dreaming happens to no other creatures in this galaxy. This was the result of a planet-scale genetic engineering experiment carried out by Kyllikki's remote ancestors back when they were intent on ruling the galaxy.

When they Dream, Earth's humans recapitulate the day's events, the brain essentially debriefing itself into "storage." However, unBonded, a Dreamer's dreams are not lucid. They are fragmented, disconnected, disjointed, symbolic, and overlaid with emotional garbage lightly laced with themes or emotional importance. It is a useless mishmosh regarded by the Galactics as supremely unhealthy.

When Dream Bonded, a Dreamer's dreams become piercingly lucid as visually precise as a camera, as verbally precise as a recorder, and in fact carry all the information that impinged on the nervous system since the last Dreaming, even information that didn't register consciously. The Earth Human's level of emotional stability and sanity, and thus efficacy at any task, increases beyond that of the ordinary human citizen of the galaxy. (They're not supermen, just not neurotic, self-crippled people like you and me. This doesn't happen overnight, of course. For maximum effect, a Dreamer has to be raised to the Bond from childhood.)

Regardless of distance, the Bonded Control learns everything that's happened to the Dreamer. Thus if the Control is in the Teleod and the Dreamer has infiltrated the Metaji, the Control has a perfect spy reporting privately and directly with no chance of the message being faked or intercepted.

There's no code problem, and debuggers and jammers can't stop the message. Even the Metaji telepaths can't touch it because it's in a different metaphor, private to the Dreamer and his/her Bonded.

Zimor kidnaps an Earthman, Peilas Van Cleef, (Elias). Bonds to him, trains him, and sends him into the Metaji to spy for her. (She fed him an incredibly twisted line of bull, to make him do it, but she's good at manipulating people.) He goes along with all this until he meets Kyllikki and gets captured by the Teleod invasion force and thrown into the same detention camp as Kyllikki.

Together with Elias and Kyllikki are two of Kyllikki's best friends, a luren named Zuchmul, who is a mechanical genius and one of the few luren living in the Metaji. In the Metaji, nonhumans are considered people. In the Teleod, nonhumans are legally disenfranchised in dozens of ways. Luren are heavily controlled and monitored in both empires, but in the Metaji as long as they obey the restrictions on their use of Influence (their hypnotic power) they have all the legal rights of citizens.

Zuchmul is one of the few people who is willing to befriend Kyllikki because he, too, is a social outcast. She is known to be a Dream Bonder and thus a powerful telepath and possibly dangerous. He, as luren, is naturally suspect.

Kyllikki is working on a passenger liner as a Communicator. (Telepaths supplement technological communications methods for moving ships.) Kyllikki's other friend on the liner is Idom, the astrogator. Because of the war, and the "scratched" condition of the firmament, astrogators who are sufficiently skilled to get their ships to destination are becoming rarer and rarer, and so fewer ships are moving in the Metaji. Idom is really a professor, a researcher and theorist, a very high-powered academic, not a mere ship's astrogator. But because he totally understands (perhaps better than anyone else living) how and why astrogation works, he is drafted for the duration to move the huge liner with important passengers. (He's too important to use on military and high-risk craft.)

Idom is likewise a social outcast, for there is an aura of power and mystery about his craft at the level at which he practices it. He is regarded as a very powerful magician, though his is actually a science dealing with random functions and probability warps created by focused attention.

The four of them escape captivity by the Teleod, race to the central government of the Metaji with information and find no help there. As they are travelling, Kyllikki discovers the Dream Bond between Zimor and Elias. Zimor has known every move they've made even as they were planning it, because Elias knew, and thus Zimor has defeated them even in the capital of the Metaji. Kyllikki and Zuchmul manage to pry Elias free of the Dream Bond with Zimor, but an unBonded Dreamer and an unBonded Control in the close quarters of a small ship causes an even worse problem. They want each other.

The complication, of course, is that Kyllikki falls in love with Elias at the most inconvenient time.

With the help of the Metaji luren community enlisted through Zuchmul's Blood relatives, the four of them mount their attack on Zimor's stronghold. Idom figures out exactly what's really happening with the Teleod methods of using the pools and devises a procedure that could end the war. It requires Kyllikki and Elias to enter Zimor's big, planet-based, Pool together and raise sexual energy.

If they do this just right, the "scratches" in the firmament should disappear.

It takes the fully extended talents and hidden abilities and heroics of all four of them, not to mention some law breaking, but in the end they do it, and Idom's theory turns out to have been correct, the galaxy is united under one government, the Metaji, where all species enjoy equal protection under the law and now transportation once again works reliably.

DREAMSPY is the second book of The Blood and occurs at about the same time as BLOOD though far away and without any of the characters of one book knowing of those of the other book. If I get a chance to do a third, it will be set some years before BLOOD and based on a short story I just finished writing for a British anthology. If it sells to that anthology, it will be announced in First Transfer and Vantage Point News. The story is called FALSE PROPHECY, and the pov character is Gabby Dean, a woman who gets involved with Titus during the time mentioned in THOSE OF MY BLOOD when he had to help hunt down a feral vampire. The book FERAL VAMPIRE, would be about the two luren factions on Earth uniting to police their own. The Feral is everything any horror reader would relish - makes Dracula look like an amateur. But the book won't be horror.

Gabby voluntarily becomes one of Titus' stringers, and in her own way, loves him. She works hard for the Resident luren.

The fourth book, (it might be titled BLOOD JUSTICE or something else with Justice in it) should the sequence go that far, would occur some years after BLOOD when Titus and Inea are happily married and Titus is running Project Station. The book starts with Gabby turning up (she's a reporter) on the moon and Titus having the problem of introducing her to Inea.

The two women do not get along.

BLOOD JUSTICE would be a sequel to FERAL VAMPIRE, THOSE OF MY BLOOD, and DREAMSPY, in the legitimate sense of tying together all the loose ends. In BLOOD, H'lim speculates that the reason the Tourist luren feed directly off humans is, for some Tourists, genetic, not just philosophical. In other words, some of the Tourists really can't live on cloned blood as Titus's Residents do. Titus comments that if that's true, it may come to having to wipe out the Tourists - genocide.

That is exactly what happens in BLOOD JUSTICE because it is determined that the genetic strain is a parasitic one, killing the host human as part of its necessary life cycle. It's a genetic quirk that can't be jiggered around and changed, at least not by Earth's current science. So there's a civil war among the luren on Earth, and so far Earth's humans don't know about the luren.

In the midst of this very ghastly civil war of extermination, the galactics arrive. The Teleod and the Metaji have been united in peace, and the Metaji philosophy has prevailed. The protection of the law has been extended to all sentients. The Dream Bonders of the Eight Families, led by the Bonded pair of Elias and Kyllikki, have proved that Bonded pairs need not be a dangerously disruptive force. As long as Earth is kept interdicted, there will always be the incentive to crime, though. The Dreamers of the galaxy are all descended from humans kidnapped from Earth and forced into the kind of slavery Zimor chained Elias into. To prevent this sort of crime, it is necessary to integrate Earth into the galactic society. It is Earth's right, after all the injustices done to Earth (the original genetic engineering, the deprivation of sanity due to the lack of Bonders, the kidnapping of Earth's citizens, and the imposed isolation.)

The luren/human crossbreeding is still strictly illegal because of the wild nature of luren genes, and luren/Dreamer crossbreeding is a monster-scare-story.

All Earth's luren are crossbred Dreamers. They not only Dream, they have Influence. And some of them are parasites on humans, unable to live on the normal food of the galaxy's luren, the blood of an animal called an ori.

When the galactics arrived, they knew nothing of the crossbreeds. A very leery and reluctant Earth is being welcomed with open arms (and other appendages) when Titus is sent to make that first contact. (He has Blood right as a relative of the Sa'ar through H'lim and there are luren with the galactics.) After that, things get very sticky with the galactics mixing into a clandestine civil war on an Earth which hasn't yet given the galactic visitors the right to walk on the surface of the planet.

BLOOD JUSTICE would probably be a very long, complex book, but it would end with all our main characters settled down for good, long, healthy lives and justice delivered all around, and Earth a part of the galactic community of humanity. With luck, I could also squeeze in my theory of how come luren and Earth humans and galactic humans interbreed.

So we have four hocks along a time line like this:






(Editor's note: This is basically a true story. It's an account of my trip to the East Coast, In the fall of 1987, to attend a Writers' Workshop, visit some special people, and attend a con, as seen through the eyes of my S/G persona. I have, as far as possible, put it into Sime/Gen terminology using peoples' personas where I can. Obviously, I've had to leave out a lot of mundane things, but I hope you will find what remains entertaining.

In places it makes reference to a previous report written by Kareen. That can be found in AZ 15 and covers my visit to Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer in the fall of 1996.

I would like you to take special note of the fact that while I refer to Jacqueline Lichtenberg as Sectuib Zeor, in reality she is not my Sectuib or anybody else's. She's just a special lady I consider it a privilege to know.

Also please note that anything inside (( )) is an editor's note, though it may not be stated as such. ( ) contain parenthetical notes from Kareen.


It was early fall and the leaves were beginning to grace us with the brilliant colors of autumn when I received orders from my Controller to embark on an extended tour of the eastern Tecton districts. I was to check up on a Chanel outpost in South Jersey, attend a workshop on Tecton policies and procedures ((the Writers' workshop in Harrisburg)), then serve as Escort for Frevven ambrov Zeor ((Kerry Lindemann-Schaefer)) for about a month, as he had some extensive traveling to do in pursuit of his orders from the Tecton.

While I found the orders themselves welcome, having been stuck here at Cedar City for almost a year, surrounded by junct renSimes ((mundanes who think I'm crazy)). I was not too thrilled at the prospect of entrusting myself and my belongings to the Tecton Stage Coach Company, the one with the big grey dog for a logo.

| Actually, the journey, though long and tedious went fairly smoothly, with but one problem enroute. My ticket had been issued incorrectly and I had to make an unplanned coach change. But I finally arrived safely, luggage intact (because I wouldn't let the Simes working for the Big Grey Dog touch it), at the Atlantic City depot more or less on time.

I was met by Leslie ambrov Chanel ((Karen MacLeod)) and her husband and driven immediately to the Somers Point Sime Center. which is maintained by Householding Chanel.

The next day, before we tackled any Householding or Tecton business, Leslie drove me into Ventnor, a small town near the Center so that I could see the ocean. That was glorious! We spent time hunting for seashells, launched several copies of HCI into the cold ocean waves ((we were testing a custom of an ancient African tribe whose name I've long since forgotten. It involves bringing good luck upon a venture by placing a symbol of that venture, such as a wood carving, into the ocean waves)), then went into Atlantic City for lunch. Though I'm not a Sime, the directional devices ((street signs)) were giving me a severe case of psycho-spatial disorientation. The restaurant Leslie chose was on the corner of Iowa Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.

After chuckling at my confusion, Leslie explained. It seems that the Simes who developed and laid out the street plans for Atlantic City and its neighboring towns were quite fond of an Ancient game called Monopoly. The entire island on which these cities are located is laid out in the form of a gigantic Monopoly board. Of course the Boardwalk dominates things, but more about that later.

The next day we spent at the Householding while some minor problems with Leslie's horse ((Susie Sime, the Zeor Staff car)) were cleared up, then we returned to the beach for a while. That night I had a big treat. We went out for dinner and had lobster for the first time since leaving Santenkaty Landing almost a year ago. Since it's my favorite food and a rarity in the Midwest, it was a real treat. I might mention that the seagulls are not the least bit afraid of either Simes or Gens. I had taken off my shoes to better play in the water, so one was able to bite me. Since there was no channel immediately available, it is fortunate that the injury was exceedingly minor.

Most of the rest of that week was spent on sightseeing in and around the Atlantic City area. I did eventually adjust to the idea that A.C. is not really a Monopoly board.

One day I saw the funniest thing. Leslie had been giving me a rough time about my insatiable desire to go swimming or wading in spite of what she considers extremely cold weather. To me it seemed warm (low 40's), but then I've lived in the Iway District for the last twenty-some years. Cold is below zero with strong winds. Anyway, on this one particular day, I was on the Boardwalk by myself while Leslie attended to some Householding business ((she is buying a house and had to meet with her lawyer)) and I saw two young Gens trying to surf. Both of them were in the water for a very long time. Somehow that made me feel a lot less crazy.

The highlight of that week came on Friday when Mother Gen ((Lois Tartaglio)) and Leslie took me into Atlantic City for a guided tour of Bailys, one of the largest shiltpron parlors ((casinos)) in the city. It is, I suppose, beautiful in a gaudy glittery way. We did have a real nice lunch, compliments of Mother Gen (who incidentally is a very wonderful person that I feel privileged to have met) then went into a large room full of machines that the Ancients used to call one-armed bandits.

At Mother Gen and Leslie's insistence (and with their coins) I did play the game for a short time and managed to walk away with considerably more coins than I had started with, I must admit shopping on the Boardwalk with somebody else's money was a rather enjoyable experience.

Thus ended my first week at the Somers Point Sime Center. All in all I was having a wonderful time and settling in quite well, except for two minor problems, one of which was to plague me for my entire visit. Leslie has an attack freezer. She keeps it so full that whenever you open the door, you have a good chance of a frozen chunk of something jumping out at you. That one I never got away from, since I did a considerable amount of cooking while with Leslie. Actually, (and I hope Frevven doesn't shen me for mentioning this) I was having a ball cooking in a fully equipped kitchen. While Santenkaty has other attractions, a good kitchen isn't one of them.

The other problem was easier to deal with. I am an early riser and quite frequently take long walks before breakfast. So rather than get up herself at what Leslie considers an uncivilized hour (wonder how she would like to share a room with a Sime? *Chuckle*), she gave me a key. However, I had a terrible time unlocking the door with it until I figured out the secret. When using a key, the doorknob doesn't turn. You just push on the door.

My second week at Somers Point was a quiet lazy week. Leslie and I spent most of the time at home, just talking and getting to know one another. We fooled around with a new-fangled piece of office equipment with which she was having problems. ((A Tandy Computer and Deskmate, or Deskmonster, as Karen calls it)) Having had some small experience with these little beasties, I was able to help her tame it. We did some shopping and some cooking. Leslie was worried about what I was going to run into later in my trip when I would be faced with cooking in Frevven's bachelor kitchen, so she made up packets of spices for me to take with me when I left.

Since all good things must come to an end, so did this portion of my trip. It was with the greatest of reluctance that I did again entrust myself and my worldly goods to the not-so-tender mercies of the Tecton Stage Coach Company early on Saturday morning. To my delighted surprise, this leg of my journey was quite pleasant and I arrived at the Harrisburg Sime Center around noon for a two day seminar.

It was here that I met up with Frevven, who introduced me to Sectuib Zeor. To say that she is a dynamic lady is the understatement of the century.

The Seminar was a rather gruelling and intensive attempt on the part of Sectuib Zeor and others to teach proper implementation of Tecton policies and procedures. ((They were teaching professional Science Fiction writing.))

The weather was cold, wet, and gloomy, and the work demanding, but not once did I see Sectuib Zeor falter. She had a warm smile and friendly words for everyone.

((Totally mundane note: While at the workshop I also had the privilege of meeting Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as some other professional writers. Marion and Sectuib Zeor are very good friends and it was a delight to be in their company. I also met Roberta Klein-Mendelson and Anne Pinzow, a former editor of Ambrov Zeor. They had driven down with Jacqueline to help teach the classes.))

While the Seminar was interesting and informative ((Mostly teaching me how much I don't know about SF writing)) it was also quite exhausting and I for one was very glad when it was over and Sectuib Zeor, Hajene Frevven, Roberta, Claire Gabriel ((a friend of Jacqueline's)) and I piled into the Sectuib's buggy for the trip to Householding Zeor.

Before I leave the subject of the Seminar, I have to tell about one humorous incident that wasn't so funny at the time. After the first night, Sectuib Zeor and Frevven invited me to stay with them in the channels' dorm ((I had spent the previous night with Doug Rosentrator, head of the workshop)) so we had to move my luggage from Doug's buggy to Sectuib Zeor's.

Frevven and I spent a considerable amount of time wandering around the parking area looking for the Sectuib's buggy, but couldn't find it, so we ended up taking my bags to the Seminar with us. Then when we left with Sectuib, we discovered that her buggy was parked exactly where she said it was. We had gone by it several times, and Frevven, who had arrived in it, didn't recognize it. I guess his transfer with me (which we had almost as soon as he arrived) was so good that it interfered with his ability to zlin . . . or something. Or perhaps his poor eyesight contributed to the problem. Next to meeting his Sectuib, that transfer was the highlight of the weekend for me. What Frevven thinks I don't know. I still haven't seen his report on my performance as his transfer partner.

While it was cold and rainy when we left the Harrisburg Center, that rain soon changed to snow as we got further north and Sectuib had to deal with icy road conditions. But she kept her cool and got us all safely to Householding Zeor.

Frevven and I had planned to spend one night there before leaving for Santenkaty Landing ((Kerry's home on Cape Cod)) the next day, while Claire was to spend the rest of the week with Sectuib. However, things didn't go exactly as planned. A major storm had hit the entire area and we were forced to stay an extra day at the Householding. I didn't mind at all. By then I was beginning to get over my awe at being in the presence of Sectuib Zeor and was thoroughly enjoying her company. She has a beautiful home and is a marvellous hostess. She is also a very good cook, though she won't admit to it very easily.

Since we were confined to the Householding that Wednesday, Sectuib put me to work studying the Simelan translation of a famous Ancient myth. ((I was reading the manuscript of THOSE OF MY BLOOD)) I spent the day sitting by a window watching the snow and reading.

By the next morning the weather had improved. While it was still chilly (downright cold as far as Frevven was concerned) the sun was shining and the streets were clear so we took our leave of Sectuib and left for Santenkaty Landing.

The trip was rather uneventful. Being the proper and efficient Tecton Escort that I am, not only did I protect Frevven nagerically from all the o-T Gens surrounding us enroute, I did most of the driving - - something he soon came to enjoy and professed to miss after my eventual return to Cedar City. I guess every channel enjoys being spoiled just a little. ((JL: Actually, Simes HATE riding in cars driven by Gens because Gens can't zlin around corners or zlin other drivers' intentions. Frevven is an exception, obviously.)) The next day was a Friday and I rose early for a long walk on he beach. Then Frevven and I spent the day on some very mundane activities such as shopping for food, especially eggs, and doing laundry. Picking up the mail was funny. Frevven had received a birthday present from Hajen Niisa Ambrov Chanel (Linda Whitten> She had sent him a Tecton basic Kitchen kit. consisting of smoe common kitchen utensils that she thought he should have. Freven laughed, groaned and tried to give me the blame. But it wasn't my idea. Nilsa came up with that all on her own.

Being at Santenkaty with Hajene Frevven was a very beautiful experience. We spent the weekend sightseeing and beachcombing. I even managed to do some wading at a local salt marsh which, as usual, had Frevven fussing about crazy Gens with cold feet. However, the exercise and warm sunlight did drive away my lethargy and left me feeling happier and more energetic than I have felt in a long time. I also got rid of my cold that weekend, but in fairness I must give the credit to Frevven's channelling ability. ((I get sick a lot, with colds and viruses but almost never around Kerry.))

Monday was Frevven's birthday, so I rose early and baked him an egg-shaped birthday cake that provoked much laughter throughout the day. Then for lunch I made omelets. (So, one way or another, we can say that Frevven is no longer without eggs, as I had reported him to be last year.)

That night I took him out for dinner, I opted to have lobster, which started Frevven fussing again about it being uncivilized to eat anything that sits there and stares at you with beady little eyes. This is not a new theme with Frevven. He was harassing me about lobster last year. But this time I retaliated and pointed out that the vegetables he was eating were once alive too. Since lobsters don't have brains and just can't be considered intelligent. Frevven didn't have a leg to stand on, but he refused to concede. I'm seriously beginning to think that Zeor channels don't know how to concede gracefully when they've lost an argument. (Maybe it's because they rarely do.) Later, Frevven built a fire in his fireplace and we sat and talked long into the night.

The next day, a Tuesday, Frevven and I drove into the nearby town of Boston for some sightseeing. Boston is a quaint old town with a lot of relics from our Ancient past. While the whole day was interesting, the most fun for both of us was a visit to a place called the Computer Museum. It is an immense building filled with machines from the days of the Ancients. Some of these gadgets still work. Frevven and I spent several pleasurable hours playing with them. Later on we sat on the dock talking as the sun went down and the lights of the city came on.

The rest of that week was more or less routine, as Frevven went about his duties as a channel while I served as his Companion. But this precious interlude was not to last. Soon, Frevven and I had to hit the trail again. This time to New York City.

We spent the weekend in Queens with some of Frevven's out-Territory friends. ((Kerry's son and ex-husband, a delightful pair.)) The first day we were there we ventured into Manhattan on a rather weird sliderail system ((the subway)) that neither one of us liked at all in order to meet a member of my Householding ((Joan Panichella)) who had also braved the perils of the big city to join us. Meeting with Joan was nice, but I wasn't too thrilled with the Big Apple. The buildings are so tall that you have to look straight up to see the sky, which isn't blue anyway, and there is no grass or trees. The phrase "cement jungle" is very apt.

The next morning we bid a fond farewell to Frevven's friends and drove to Staten Island. There we got on a boat ((the Staten Island Ferry)) for a trip across the harbor to Manhattan and back again. In the Harbor we passed a relic of the ancient country called the US of A, a very impressive Statue of Liberty. Though Frevven was more interested in keeping warm, I was very touched by seeing the monument to our ancestors' struggle for freedom and the dignity of man.

After our little venture on the water, we headed for Householding Zeor once again, arriving late in the afternoon to a warm welcome from Sectuib. She seemed very glad to see us. It didn't take long to settle in and we were soon sitting around her kitchen table drinking trin tea and talking about a variety of things.

Since Frevven and I had been engaged in our intermittent lobster argument/discussion, Sectuib Zeor handed me a magazine article on lobsters that Frevven and I both read. It was fascinating. Lobsters actually have some very complex social customs. However, the debate about their intelligence or lack of it was brought to a halt by Sectuib who told us they don't have brains.

Later that night, Katie Filipowicz stopped by and we had a lovely evening. Kitty is a neat lady that I was to grow to really appreciate as time went on.

The next couple of days were more or less routine. We spent a lot of time at the Householding just visiting with Sectuib and dealing with such mundane things as laundry and shopping. Kitty, Frevven, and I celebrated the Ancient Thanksgiving holiday by visiting another member of Householding Zeor ((Judy Segal)) for a magnificent feast.

By this time, we were gearing up for the Tecton meeting we were to attend at the Wilmington Sime Center ((Darkover Grand Council)). I totally revamped my plans for the pledge ceremony Chanel had planned, touching off a rather time consuming search for red candles.

The next morning we piled into two buggies for the trip to the Wilmington Center, arriving about noon. The afternoon was spent on settling in and being reunited with Leslie ((Karen Litman)) and meeting for the first time Nilsa ambrov Chanel, First Channel in Chanel ((Linda Whitten)), Bruce ambrov Chanel ((Bruce Adams, who hasn't formulated a persona yet)), and Karissa ambrov Chanel ((Donell Meadows)), all of whom were to offer me their pledges in a short but beautiful ceremony that night.

For me the highlight of the Tecton meeting was that pledge ceremony. Sectuib Zeor graced us with her presence, as did Hajene Frevven, who participated in the Ceremony by holding a candle representing the Flame of Zeor from which the torch of Chanel was lit. We were also privileged to have in attendance Anne Pinzow ((Former editor of AZ)) and Katie Filipowicz, who was gracious enough to serve as photographer.

After the ceremony, I had the privilege of representing the Tecton in the bestowing of some Tecton awards. Frevven was named Channel of the Year. Sectuib Zeor, Nilsa ambrov Chanel, Leslie ambrov Chanel, and Frevven ambrov Zeor received DIGEN FARRIS MEMORIAL SERVICE AWARD certificates denoting exceptional service to the Tecton in the past year. Then Chanel presented Sectuib Zeor with a Klyd Farris teddy bear as a token of the esteem and love that the House holds for her. Most of the rest of the night was party time.

The remainder of the meeting was more or less routine. I attended some Tecton workshops and took care of some business ((sat table selling zines)) for Zeor. But all good things must come to an end. We said good-by to the members of the House and entered our buggies for a relatively uneventful trip back to Householding Zeor. The next day Frevven and I returned to Santenkaty.

The last week of my rather long and involved trip went all too fast. Frevven and I did some sightseeing ((we walked a lot of beaches)) and took care of some Zeor business ((stuffed envelopes and mailed out CZ9 for Karen)), and spent a lot of time just talking. ((Actually, we did a lot of hilarious roleplaying with Controller Quimn, my channel persona, but that's another story!))

But finally the last day did come and I had to prepare for my departure. Frevven, bless his tentacles, was practicing that bloody-shen Zeor denial discipline and insisted on waiting until the last possible moment before letting me serve him transfer. Nevertheless it was easily the most beautiful transfer I have ever had. That made it doubly difficult for me to get on the stagecoach and return to Cedar City.







Recently, a number of people have brought to my attention an odd problem among readers of, and contributors to the Sime/Gen fanzines. People seem to be disturbed about what they infer my personal, everyday-reality philosophy to be. The inferences they have drawn seem to be causing them to dissociate themselves from S/G fandom, and for all I know sf fandom in general.

This disturbs me because people who would find the associations distressing should not have been seduced into it in the first place. Therefore, I am going to try to state my position in such a way that those who would find it incompatible won't get any further than the following two paragraphs.

Since my very earliest coherent memory, I have guided my thinking according to one simple, cardinal principle: Question everything. I work by it, I play by it, I worship by it, and I love by it. There is nothing I do not question. Absolutely nothing.

If your everyday real-world convictions require that there is something, some area of thought or belief, that you must not question, must not doubt, must not experiment upon and wonder about, then you must not become involved in any association I'm connected to.

A person who retains within their philosophy an area that must not be challenged by questioning and doubt would be exceptionally wise to refrain from any involvement in sf/f in general, for the single, most pervasive cardinal theme of sf/f is that of challenging cultural taboos, our twentieth century American taboos in particular.

Now, for the rest of you who have not stopped reading, in order to challenge a taboo, one must first identify it. The intrinsic characteristic of a taboo, which makes it identifiable to those who have internalized it, is that it is unthinkable. It is WRONG. It is self-evidently evil.

When that reflex is triggered, my personal question-generating mechanism goes into hyperdrive and the result is a novel or perhaps a series of novels.

My purpose in life is to induce people (myself included) into questioning assumptions, to think their way into the blind spots inside their own psyche. Not my psyches: their own psyches.

I do not provide answers to the questions I generate. This leaves some people in exquisite agony, and the result is their own personal artistic endeavor that leads them closer to their own personal contact with the divine: not my contact point to the divine - their own.

I have been the nexus of this sort of energy-vortex all of my life long. I don't see it changing in the near future, or even the far future. However, the subject matter I focus on has changed many times and will continue to change. What answers I have to the questions I generate, the answers I use to select my daily actions and direct my personal life, have changed many times, and will no doubt continue to change.

I do not promulgate these answers, not in my books, not in fandom, not in S/G fandom, not among my personal friends and closest associates, not even among my own family. My 'answers' are nothing more than tentative hypotheses which I am testing by betting my life on them. This is a process which brings me, personally, a great deal of satisfaction and contentment, mostly because it is a PROCESS. It is ever-changing, ongoing, endless. It is not static.

People who wish their lives to remain in stasis should not associate with me. I induce change everywhere I touch.

This in no way distinguishes me. Most people have this effect on others. What does distinguish me is the range and depth of the subject matter I tackle.

For the first 26 years of my life, I devoted myself to building a mental model of the universe, a "Visualization of the Macrocosmic All," according to the precepts of modern "hard" science. (Actually, my earliest decision for science as my realm was when I was 5 years old.) "Visualization of the Macrocosmic All" is a phrase I use a lot because I picked up the definition from E. E. Smith's Lensman Series when I was very young. Ostensibly "Space Opera" - the lowest form of literature known to humankind, lower even than pornography! - Doc Smith's books are in fact the richest source of challenges to Earth's great philosophies and to our concepts of our own history. I have several grand new projects brewing that pose questions based on Smith's observations. Though I read those books in the fifties, here we are almost in the nineties and I'm only just now discovering how very profound Smith really was. But when I was ten and twelve years old, I was more enamored with the science than the philosophy. Smith, Heinlein, Clement, and Asimov were the biggest influences that sent me to school after a degree in Chemistry and a scientist's view of reality.

I believed at that time that I could construct a useful "Visualization of the Macrocosmic All" by studying hard science. To discover what I mean by a "Visualization of the Macrocosmic All" one muse read all the Lensman books - the ones by Smith himself, not the ones by David Kyle which are good but for different reasons. The meaning of the phrase is not exactly self-evident. Smith had a Ph.D. in chemistry, and a meticulous mind trained to hard science. It was a thrill to read fiction written by such a mind. Yet only after my 26th year was I able to come to grips with the fact that Smith had invented the phrase, "Visualization of the Macrocosmic All" and that only a very small part of that concept can be approximated by hard science as we know it today.

"Operation High Time" was written just before the realization hit me that "hard science" - the oh-so-very proud icon of 20th century civilization - harbored a taboo zone, a region that must not be questioned. (The new tv series PROBE is a cartoon caricature of this point. The hero questions everything but this zone.) The taboo zone, the unconscious assumption I refer to, consists of the validity of the laws of evidentiality. (i.e. how science "proves" things, what proof consists of. The foundation of the process was laid down by Aristotle and formalized by Bacon into the foundations of modern science. Since science is so effective in dealing with concrete reality, its Taboo Zone is seldom questioned, and the questioning never taken seriously. A student who questions the zone is summarily flunked out of science courses!)

The Sime/Gen universe was wholly conceptualized by the time I was 16, but fiction was not written in it until I was about 25. And even so, "Operation High Time" contains in it the hints of the challenges to science's Taboo Zone.

There were several early concepts of the S/G universe, one of them having the Simes take blood from the Gens as well as selyn (i.e. that Simes were vampires: Yes, I've been incubating THOSE OF MY BLOOD all those years!). I dropped the blood aspect for the WRITING CRAFT reasons: it made explaining what Simes are and what channels are ever so much more difficult. And it added nothing to the drama. That left me free to postulate other things about where the S/G mutation came from and why. That freedom left me room to add in elements which I thought at the time were totally original with me.

One of those elements was reincarnation, which I invented whole cloth out of my own imagination. I didn't even know there was a word for the phenomenon. I built reincarnation into the S/G universe as a postulate designed to display original thinking. When I discovered I was a bit tardy, I was crushed. (Do you know how crushed a 17 year old can get?) I thereupon made it my business to read through the entire esoteric/ESO/UFO collection in the library and to ransack all the used bookstores for works on such subjects.

Heinlein and Asimov heroes don't make the same stupid blunder twice. Well, I made it a few more times and I expect to make it several more yet, but those are other stories.

I learned that the writers of sf/fantasy who were using telepathy, magic and other assorted ideas were mining a resource called Ancient Wisdom. SF writers learn a little about science, and then apply a series of speculations to the postulates of science - "What if . . . ? If this goes on, then what? If only . . ."

The same thinking process used to extrapolate from hard science to science fiction is used to extrapolate from Ancient Wisdom to fantasy. The mental process is the same, the results appear different, out they're not. The resulting novels challenge Taboo Zones, blind spots in our thinking.

"Aha! I'm not a scientist at all! I'm a science fiction writer!" This is the discovery I made at the age of 16 when I buckled down to codifying the Sime/Gen universe (and three others which I haven't ever written in, and probably won't because they're more technical!)

And ten years later I began producing fiction that incorporated notions that challenge the "hard science" view of the universe, as well as the "hard-religious" view of the universe.

I discovered that I had spent twenty-one years, since I was five years old, consciously dedicated to the hard-science view of the universe while in fact seriously challenging the sacred cows of that view, and so not succeeding as a scientist. But my mental muscles, my essential method of problem-solving, is firmly shaped by that early training.

For the last twenty years I have been assiduously acquiring what I term a "magickal view of the universe," a second component to my Visualization of the Macrocosmic All.

As I have been studying the "real world" occult sciences, I have been incorporating questions concerning these sciences into my fiction.

I can't emphasize the following statement too strongly:


It is not possible to extrapolate backwards from my novels to my personal philosophy.

It is, however, not possible to comprehend my personal philosophy without having virtually memorized my novels. My novels are like the traces in a bubble chamber - given the right mathematical formulas, the physicist can discern what sub-nuclear particle caused the trace. Knowing how that particle behaves in other experiments, the physicist can hold forth for hours on the significance of the existence of such a particle. Without the mathematical formulae or the results of other experiments, the physicist can only make puzzled noises and being asked questions.

For someone who was born thinking the way I do, my novels are footsteps in the sand, a trail blazed, a hint that makes the questing a bit easier. For anyone else, the most my novels can do is energize the question-generating mechanism in that reader's head.

My books do not provide answers. In most cases, they don't even suggest answers, and in some cases they don't even pose questions. Often, all the reader can get is a sense of having encountered a whole new blank area of their own psyche which defines a hitherto taboo area, an area virgin to questioning.

Some of these questions are VERY DISTURBING.

"What if the scientific view of reality - the view which has virtually stopped the famine cycle, extended the life expectancy by decades, reduced the risk of childbearing, decreased infant mortality, whipped every disease to come down the pike except AIDS, and given us word processors to boot - what if the scientific view of reality is ALL WRONG?"

Or worse yet. "What if everything I was taught in Sunday School is ALL WRONG?"

The real corker: "What if nobody alive, nobody who has ever lived, understands what's really happening in the world?"

That last one generates horror novels, and so far I haven't written a real horror novel. I can't really write "nobody knows" stories. Instead, I create a hypothesis which, if it proves out, would mean that everybody was wrong but now we have a better notion.

Since I spent twenty-one years being a hard scientist, and have now spent many years being an occultist, I expect a shift in my thinking to occur in the next five years or so. You will note that my fiction bears a strong effluvium of hard science to this day. I have discovered reflections of certain basic principles of science (Conservation, Parity, Polarity, Symmetry, etc) in Magick. (Magick includes all religions that acknowledge a Creator of the Universe.) I would not be surprised if my fiction next veers towards reconciling the two views, the Scientific View and the Magickal View.

To come to a point where you could understand what I mean by the Magickal View of the Universe (and E. E. Smith's Visualization of the Macrocosmic All is a magickal view!) you would have to study that view as carefully as our public school system forces you to study the scientific view.

It is very unlikely that more than 5% of the readers of this article have any idea at all what "Magickal" means to me, or where I see how Science, Magick, and Religion connect. I could define "magickal" but that would only add to the confusion because the defining terms would also be strange. Worse yet, there is now a movement known as the New Age movement which has redefined all the words commonly used by occultists. Occultist is another term which I'd have to define in order to get deeper into the subject of my personal "Visualization of the Macrocosmic All" or to get into the subject of how my personal view differs from the view I use to generate fiction.

Instead of trying that and ending up writing a LARGE book consisting of my own personal epistemology. I'll end with some provocative statements for readers to chew on.

I don't believe in reincarnation. I don't believe in astrology. I don't believe in Tarot.

I can work real-world everyday life problems in terms of various sorts of reincarnation systems (and my own personal one which differs from all the commonly accepted ones and from all the ones described in my novels or yet to be described in my novels). Given a real-world problem, I can give you the solution that would come from Tarot, or astrology just the same as I used to do the math to balance a chemical equation.

But do not assume that because I can work a problem in a particular system that I necessarily would apply the solution that system suggests to my everyday life. I do not "believe in" any of these systems.

Astrology and Tarot are systems of thought which, just like chemistry, can't be criticized by someone who can't "do" them. I have nearly reached a point where I can "do" them. During the next five to seven years, you will see more occult themes brought to high focus in my novels, I think. But those with sharp eyes will also see (probably before I, myself, see) the beginnings of some new discipline I must master before questioning, and the beginnings of some VERY DISTURBING questions about Science and Magick and the relationship between them.

For the moment, I "view" Science as a branch of Magick, and both as a branch of Art which is a subset of Spiritual Growth, which is the Purpose of Life insofar as a living thing can know it.

But that's not a belief. It's a hypothesis. Not a theory. Just a hypothesis. (If that distinction isn't familiar, go check it out in a science text.)

The prominence of Feminism in our society has brought some new questions into focus, questions I may explore in several novels. I have lots of questions but no answers, and as far as I yet know, nobody has ever asked some of my most worrisome questions.

According to my current hypothesis (which will probably be out of date before anyone else reads this), 20th century civilization is hurtling at breakneck pace down a blind alley toward a brick wall. My views are very unpopular ones in this area and a lot of S/G fen find them odious in the extreme.

I'll put it in jargon shorthand to which I won't give you the key. See if this makes any sense, but don't rely wholly on your first interpretation of it.

Women should not be taught to practice assertiveness or aggression. The reason that women in our society now must do combat with men under men's rules in order to gain power over their own lives is that way back before Aristotle's day, human society lost an archetype. We retained the Warrior Archetype but lost its obverse. Check out the self-help and psych and occult book racks in the chain stores - lots of books about the occult training of a Warrior. In sf/f, we have lots of books about women-in-brass-bras, women who can swing a sword and let out a blood-curdling battle cry. The Warrior Archetype embodies the best of what an Adult Man ought to be. Our society has no corresponding image of the crafts of an Adult Woman. Since, in our society, adultness means Warrior, and childness means powerless victim of Warrior or perish psychically. If she becomes a Warrior, she perishes psychically because the only definition of Warrior is Adult Man.

If enough women become Warriors of the Male School, we're going to smash ourselves to smithereens on that brick wall. (And New York State is currently wondering why one infant a day is dying from child-abuse and neglect in New York - a doubling from last year, a veritable epidemic and they're so puzzled!)

So we're missing the Adult Woman archetype. By Symmetry, one of the pervasive principles of Science, we can also see that we're missing the Archetype of Magick, having overdeveloped the archetypes of Science. We're limping along on one leg, and now we've decided to weld our legs together rather than try for a real healing.

This is the vision my Visualization of the Macrocosmic All shows me at this particular moment and it will no doubt be generating some scalding questions in my next few novels. Keep in mind that from the time my question-generating mechanism presents me with a novel idea to the time you get to read that novel is about 6 years, usually not less than 6, often many more than that.

Way back before Aristotle, human civilization took a turn away from the Adult Woman Archetype and away from Magick. It took about 4 thousand years, but we've finally managed to rip holes in the ozone layer that protects our bodies and we've produced a massive die-out among animal species (I haven't seen the endangered plants list. I think it would give me nightmares.) We've also about used up the fossil fuels available on this planet. During those four thousand years, we've codified a few religions which currently dominate our societies (one of which I practice) and which delineate Taboo Zones, things we must not think about.

Personally, I don't dare not-think about them. Worse yet, I don't dare LET those around me not-think about them. If your spiritual salvation depends on not-thinking about something, don't get anywhere near me.


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